In response to a callout by the City of Sydney, 25-year-old Kungarakan graphic designer Toby Bishop designed ‘Ancient Tracks’. The vivid, largescale artwork is made from fabric and wrapped around scaffolding on the façade of the Woolworths building. Situated across from Sydney Town Hall on the corner of George and Park Streets, the ‘Ancient Tracks’ building wrap is an artistic reflection of the traditional Indigenous navigation and land management practices.
In response to the artwork, Lord Mayor Clover Moore stated, “It is a powerful symbol of the City’s ongoing commitment to a greener, more sustainable city, and to our ongoing work to support our creative communities and enhance Sydney’s cultural life.” Mesh Direct were engaged to produce the building wrap, a serendipitous opportunity to align our own longing for a greener city with the values bound within the artwork.
Where do we begin? One only must glance upon the ‘Ancient Tracks’ artwork to understand the true scope of this job. We were presented with several challenges throughout the process of producing this magnificent piece of artwork. Firstly, the timeframe was incredibly tight. Commencing the installation just prior to Christmas, this job rode a COVID wave as well as unprecedented rain and floods. Then, once installed, we notched winds up to 120km per hour, really challenging the integrity of the product at almost 180kg per panel. The foot traffic through Sydney meant the installation had to be completed between 10 pm and 6 am each day, with traffic controllers on-site to guarantee the safety of everyone involved. At over 3500sqm in size, safety was certainly our biggest challenge but one we faced head-on with success.
The nature of the artwork meant that a green approach to production was essential. Enter: Mesh Direct. Fortunately, as a 100% carbon neutral business, we were the perfect candidates to produce this very special piece of art. Mesh Direct were able to produce ‘Ancient Tracks’ in line with the ‘green’ brief Toby Bishop created his artwork off.
To successfully install the wrap, we needed to break the artwork into eight panels. Each panel weighed about 180kg and was broken into their respective pieces to suit the change in dimension of the scaffold. Straps and poles were utilised to reinforce the structural integrity and thanks to over 2000 cable ties, we were able to ensure each wrap was comfortably attached to the scaffold. Building wraps are our forte at Mesh Direct but this job was certainly up there with the biggest we’ve taken on.
As far as we know, this is the largest carbon neutral wrap in Australia. The sheer size of the artwork means thousands of people can enjoy its striking appeal every day and know it hasn’t cost the earth to produce. From an artist’s perspective, the building wrap can help to tell a story and spark conversations about the country’s Indigenous narrative. From our perspective, the visual impact of the building wrap is undoubtedly, and even the size can’t take away from the fantastic print quality the team at Mesh Direct have managed to maintain. Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, by playing a role in this project Mesh Direct has helped enforce the great legacy that this country is built upon.